Old Main, the first building constructed on the Wartburg campus in 1880, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A 1986 renovation added classrooms and offices and made the building handicapped-accessible. Old Main houses the education and social work departments. The historic core of the Wartburg College campus has also been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Wartburg College district is the fifth in the city.
When Wartburg was established in Waverly in 1879 it was a normal school that educated men to teach in Lutheran parochial schools. This building was constructed the following year, which makes it the first structure associated with German Lutheran higher education in Iowa. The dormitory was in the attic, classrooms doubled as living areas when they were not used for educational purposes, the two teachers were housed on the first floor, and dining/kitchen facilities were located in the basement.